After the latest shootings in the U.S., Biden is again calling for far-reaching reforms of gun laws. Because these are hardly enforceable, the president praises even small movements. For example, the senators’ agreement that those under 21 must be more strictly screened when buying weapons.
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has agreed on a minimal tightening of gun laws. It’s about “protecting America’s children, keeping our schools safe and reducing the threat of violence across the country,” the 20-member group of Republicans and Democrats said. The panel had formed in response to an increase in deadly attacks with firearms in schools and other places.
The senators were now able to agree that gun sellers must more closely examine the suitability of customers under 21 to carry a weapon in the future. Incentives are also to be created for individual states to enable their courts to temporarily take away the weapons of potentially dangerous gun owners. Otherwise, they focused primarily on school safety and strengthening mental health care in the country.
U.S. President Joe Biden had called for a much more far-reaching reform of gun laws and, for example, restrictions on semi-automatic weapons. Nevertheless, he described the agreement as “important steps in the right direction” and as “the most significant legislation on gun safety that Congress has passed in decades. In addition to large segments of Republicans, Biden’s Democrats have also partially blocked tougher gun legislation for years. Currently, Republicans and Democrats each hold 50 seats in the Senate. Most laws require a majority of 60 votes. Far-reaching reforms continue to seem out of reach.
Two serious attacks in May had sparked renewed debate in the U.S. about tightening gun laws. In New York State, an 18-year-old shot ten people outside a supermarket with an assault rifle, apparently for racist reasons. In Texas, another 18-year-old killed 19 children and two teachers. After the bipartisan group of senators was constituted, there was another deadly gun attack in the state of Oklahoma: A gunman stormed a clinic compound there in early June, shooting four people and then himself.